Gov. Bryant appoints Diaz to state committee

Published 8:23 pm Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Pablo Diaz, president and CEO of the Vicksburg Warren Economic Development Partnership, has been appointed to serve as a member of Gov. Phil Bryant’s Military Defense Initiative Task Force.

In a press release, Bryant states Diaz is being appointed because of his expertise and knowledge and will begin serving on the committee effective immediately, along with retired Col. Greg Michel, director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, as chairman, and Jamie Miller, deputy director of the Mississippi Development Authority, as co-chairman.

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Bryant’s executive order 1419 created the Military Defense Initiative Taskforce with the intent to protect, grow and diversify defense and national security as an economic driver for Mississippi.

According to a press release, Diaz and the taskforce will work to create an economic development master plan for Mississippi that includes a catalog of existing assets and investments in the area of defense, while also creating a tangible and achievable roadmap to “build capacity on national defense, defense diversification, and defense technologies, as well as strategies to improve the process of working with state and federal lawmakers for the purpose of developing a vibrant economy around these strategies and innovations.”

It is hoped recommendations and efforts of the taskforce will encourage defense-related companies to locate in Mississippi.

“I am humbled and honored by this appointment from Gov. Bryant, and I look forward to working alongside the taskforce members to craft strategies to capitalize on military and defense-related job creation opportunities for our state,” Diaz said in a statement. “Mississippi has a strong concentration of military researchers and engineers (many of them working and living in Warren County) that work day-in and day-out to solve the toughest challenges facing our military at home and abroad. I celebrate Gov. Bryant’s vision as he leads our state in this effort to better align the military, governmental, educational, and private sectors to attract high-paying jobs and investment for all Mississippians.”